My second race. Great Fun!!! 160+ rider start



stormer94

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May 19, 2004
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I want to thank everybody that has been offering up ideas and the folks on this forum for making my training more fun.

Here's how it went down. It is our "State Games". 160+ riders on a mass start. Which was pretty cool to me, I mean really, that's what it's like to look around in the start of the TDF.

The course for us was 20 miles, 10 out and 10 back. I'm not a climber, and there was a stretch of about 6 miles that was murder, 3-5% @ 3800-4000 feet of elevation.

It was cool to be in that big a start. We were told not to do any passing until this particular point on the road about 3/4 mile to let the bunch get it's legs under it and settle in a bit to reduce accidents.

The initial pace of the peloton was KILLLING ME!!! It seemed like I could have walked faster. The computer showed it was 17-20 mph, and my HRM was showing I was slacking off in the high 120's and low 130's. I'm used to training at 145-155, so I felt I was ready to bust, lots of energy to be saved in the middle of the peloton. That pace stayed for about the first 10 minutes. We hit our first corner and sperated the groups, the high mileage riders from us 20 mile riders. Instantly there were some riders in our group that were feeling like I was and "hit it". The pace jumped to about 25mph, and the main group started to string out. Some guy dropped a bottle up front and there were riders all over the road trying not to hit it. That's a suprisingly dangerous thing as it turns out.

I knew from reading all the results from the last years races that guys in my age group (40-45) were finishing in the top spots. I had done the math at home and even though I didn't know who was who on the course, figured I needed to stay with the top 12 riders to have a shot at a podium finish. I got wedged in between 3 riders and watched as a gap started to develop up front. It took me about a 20 seconds to get out of my spot, and I set out to bridge the gap to the break away group. This was probably a mistake, but there was no way I was gonna let them put time on me going down hill. Took almost 10 minutes for me to catch them, and I was giving it a mighty effort. I was running 88-92% of my maximum heartrate.

Got to the bottom of this 7 mile desent and hit the turn around for the climb back. I was in about 10th in the lead breakaway. We hit the hills, some guys started to come back, others went forward. I paced myself where I was comfortable and could see the front.

There was another rider in a postal jersey, and he was sliding off the front and dropping back, and on my way by, I offered some encouragement, and said, "come on Postal, let's go!!!"... It was in fun, and appropriate to the situation :) He "toughened up" caught my wheel and hung tough. Riders rode past, riders slid down, I was still in easy site of the front. Turns out that offering up encouragement to this particular guy may have cost me a 2nd, as he finished right in front of me.... Oh well, I'd still offer encouragement to a rider I thought needed it.

I'm wheezing like a beast up these climbs, we have nothing like that here, and it turns out (I later realize) that we are also 2000 feet higher in elevation than at home where I ride. At the 14.7 mile mark there was a small flat spot in the climb. I was in the big ring for a few yards, dropped back and "BAMMO", THE CHAIN FELL OFF!!!!!! I tried to fish it back on while rolling, but no way was that gonna happen. I had to stop, unclip, monkey with it, get it back on and hit it. According to my computer it was 40 seconds.... In the mean time, I got dropped like a hot potato. I look up the hill to watch the lead group dissapearing....
:(

Man, was that dissapointing, 45 minutes of trying to hang in the lead group destroyed.... I "cowboy'd-up" and set back out to not let it ruin my fun. I still had about a mile and half of climbing, and I was not in a good mood. I put on my race face and gave it what I had. The good news, if you can call it that, is that we had a small margin on the other riders, and only a few got by me while I was down. Two of them I caught in the next 5 miles.

I crossed the line (by myself) with a time of 1 hour and 20 seconds. In 14h place overall, and took the Bronze (or third place) in my age group. I just wish I could have been in the mix for the sprint. I love that part. :)

I would like to mention that there are posts on this forum about the "rookie embarrasment and shame" of wearing team colors and yellow jerseys at a bike race. I saw lots of team jerseys, yellow jerseys, polkadot, green and every other jersey... NOBODY CARED! Have fun, suppoprt your team if you like. I thought that was nice to see and it added some nice color to the group. I wasn't the only rider in Postal, but would have been the only Phonak rider had my jersey got here in time... shucks, that would have been cool, and timely.

Even though I tossed a chain and was dropped and had to finish by myself, I had a blast, realized I was right in the middle of things, was a contender and could have finished with the breakaway. I don't think you can ask for much more than that. Turns out though, that you can ask for more.

After the race was the funnest part when everybody started to relax and you got to talk to the other riders. And put a name and face with the person next to you on the road. Lot's of good natured teasing from friends, and new friends and good times.

Can't wait for my next race. I learned "TONS" of stuff. :)

-Bob
 

sooray02

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Mar 15, 2004
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I enjoy reading your detailed info. about the races that you had last 2 times. I’ll be racing my 2nd race in 2 weeks @ Indianapolis. It’s Cat5/Citizen 30 min. Crit. My first race, Cat4/5/Citizen, I got my **** kicked. Average came out to be around 25-26 mph and it discourage me a little but I guess I can’t do much about it. It sucked. I’ve been training harder lately and we will see how this one goes.

However, congrat. on your achievement and keep on keep pedaling!!
 

stormer94

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May 19, 2004
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sooray02 said:
I enjoy reading your detailed info. about the races that you had last 2 times. I’ll be racing my 2nd race in 2 weeks @ Indianapolis. It’s Cat5/Citizen 30 min. Crit. My first race, Cat4/5/Citizen, I got my **** kicked. Average came out to be around 25-26 mph and it discourage me a little but I guess I can’t do much about it. It sucked. I’ve been training harder lately and we will see how this one goes.

However, congrat. on your achievement and keep on keep pedaling!!

Thanks for the kind words.

Good luck in your next race. I bet it's more fun than the first.
:)
 

steve

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Aug 12, 2001
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I want to see the next dog photo :eek: its pretty neat racing in a huge bunch like that isnt it :eek:
 

stormer94

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May 19, 2004
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steve said:
I want to see the next dog photo :eek: its pretty neat racing in a huge bunch like that isnt it :eek:

Racing in a group like that is awesome for sure, hard to describe and worth every minute of it. Makes those long lonely road miles seem pretty worthwhile just to be a part of it.
:)
 

gntlmn

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Jul 28, 2003
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stormer94 said:
Racing in a group like that is awesome for sure, hard to describe and worth every minute of it. Makes those long lonely road miles seem pretty worthwhile just to be a part of it.
:)
You're a good storyteller. I felt like I was there. In fact, on a training run 2 days ago, my chain came off as I was shifting on an uphill, mega % grade. I almost fell off trying to get my foot out of the clipless pedal. I guess the chain is getting a bit stretched. I'll have to get a new one.

I haven't raced except once a long time ago on a hill climb. This read kind of gets me going. Sounds like fun!
 

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